Thank you for your interest in applying for a Compass pro bono consulting project. Compass grants pro bono consulting services to nonprofits that benefit the Chicago community. Each nonprofit client receives approximately $150,000 of strategic consulting services - free of charge. This year, we expect to select approximately 12 nonprofits.


Please read through the instructions below before viewing the application. This section explains eligibility requirements. Section Two includes technical guidance on completing this application in SurveyMonkey. (PLEASE READ APPLICATION IN WORD OR AS A PDF BEFORE ACCESSING APPLICATION IN SURVEYMONKEY)

DEADLINE:  The deadline for client applications is Friday, June 7, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

ELIGIBILITY: 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area may apply if they have a minimum operating budget of $750,000, three full-time paid staff members, an active board of directors, and a mission that benefits the Chicago community. Compass does not accept clients that promote specific religious or political beliefs. Organizations that apply for Funding Strategy projects must have a current strategic plan and strong governing board. For other service lines, this is not a requirement. 

SELECTION CRITERIA: Compass looks for indications that a potential consulting engagement will be completed successfully and have lasting, meaningful impact. Those indications include financial stability, regular Board meetings, capacity of the Executive Director to participate in the project, an engaged Board Chair interested in the proposed project, a well-defined and realistic project scope, and a track record of community impact. Compass does not undertake projects with clients who anticipate working with other pro bono or paid strategy or management consultants during the Compass project period (September 2019-June 2020). 

When selecting the final roster of clients, Compass looks for geographic diversity not too far from the immediate metropolitan area, service line diversity, and clients that represent a wide range of issue areas. 

Compass rarely accepts clients who have an interim Executive Director or who are about to transition to a new Executive Director. Compass will defer a project if the Executive Director leaves during the project period (September 2019-June 2020).

REPEAT CLIENTS: We encourage past clients to apply for additional projects. However, most clients benefit from taking a year off between projects.

CLIENT SELECTION AND PROJECT TIMELINE: Over the summer, Compass representatives will contact and interview (separately) the Executive Director and Board Chair of applicants that meet the basic criteria, listed above. Compass will announce final client selections in August. 

Project Leaders will begin working with clients in September. Teams will be fully formed, trained, and begin working in earnest in late October, with projects completed by late May to early June 2020. Please keep in mind that we will host our annual PROJECT LAUNCH in early October 2019. This event is a chance for prospective volunteers to meet Compass' newly selected clients and learn about the projects. Clients are REQUIRED to attend this event.

CONFIDENTIALITY: All information in this application will be kept confidential within Compass and the Client Selection Committee, and if selected, the project team.
QUESTIONS: If you have any questions after viewing the application, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to talk to you about the best way to complete this application, and particularly about the best way to think about and present the scope of the project you are requesting.

Thank you for your interest in Compass.

Natalie Tessler
Executive Director

Melissa Lapica 
Program Manager